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SHILLONG | Dec 6, 2019:

The NPP-led MDA Government are ‘unhappy’ with the draft of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 which was recently approved by the Union Cabinet.

“The MDA as a whole is still not happy and satisfied with the passage of the amendment bill of the CAB by the Union Cabinet,” Deputy Chief Minister and NPP senior leader, Prestone Tynsong told reporters after the meeting of the MDA Coordination Committee here today.

He further said that the MDA Government right from the very beginning has made it very clear that they it does not want CAB in Meghalaya.

“We had even submitted a resolution of all political parties, traditional heads, stakeholders, NGOs and civil societies to the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah on November 30 last. We have raised with one voice that the Meghalaya should be exempted with the CAB,” Tynsong said.

Meanwhile, he said that the State Government would again write to the Centre that the CAB should be not be applicable throughout Meghalaya.

Deputy Chief Minister said that they would also request the Shillong Congress MP, Vincent H Pala and also NPP MP from Tura, Agatha K Sangma to support the stand of the State Government on the amendment bill of the CAB.

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“We are not aware about the stand of the State Government in other States. But the MDA will push before the BJP led NDA Government that the CAB should not be applicable in Meghalaya,” Tynsong said.

Meanwhile, he said that they have inserted only one line in the draft amendment bill that CAB will not be applicable in the scheduled areas of the State.

Tynsong observed that if the Centre is ready to exempt the scheduled areas which comprises 97 percent of the areas in the State from the provisions of the CAB, then “I do not see that there should be a problem to exempt the applicability of the CAB throughout the State,” he added.

Besides Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma and Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh, leaders of various political parties who are part of the MDA, also attended the meeting of the coordination committee.

COMSO rejects draft CAB

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisation (COMSO) has stated that the new Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 is not “acceptable”.

They have demanded that the entire state should be exempted from the bill and not just the schedule areas.

“Only three tribal areas of Assam is exempted, Manipur entirely under CAB, the non tribal areas of Tripura are not exempted. Meghalaya is a state without Inner Line Permit (ILP) system,” said COMSO chairman, Robertjune Kharjahrin.

Referring to the Meghalaya Residents’ Safety and Security Act’s Ordinance 2019, Kharjahrin said “The Governor did not give his assent to the MRSSA amendment ordinance 2019, so Meghalaya will be a safe heaven for Bangladeshi who became India citizens through CAB.”

“The clause which decreased the number of years from 11 years to 5 years in order to enable the Bangladeshi Hindus etc to get citizenship by naturalisation still remains and this has not been exempted,” added COMSO chairman.

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